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Father Ubo Philemon (left) and Father Udom Peter (right)Screenshots/Facebook

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UGBOHA, Nigeria (LifeSiteNews) — Two more Nigerian priests have been kidnapped by gunmen.

This weekend social media posts from Benin City and Edo State reported that Father Ubo Philemon of St Joseph Retreat Center and Father Udom Peter of Uromi Catholic Church, both of Ugboha, Edo State, were kidnapped on Saturday July 2, 2022 on their way back to the Ugboha parish from an event in Benin City. The gunmen attacked the priests on the Benin-Auchi road and hauled them into the bush.

Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor, the Edo State Police Command Public Relations Officer,  confirmed the incident after receiving reports from Divisional Police and Father Emos Holiness of St. Dominic Catholic Church, Mission Road, Ugboha.

“This is to confirm the kidnap of two Catholic Rev. Fathers, Rev. Fr. Udo Peter of St. Patrick Catholic Church Uromi and Rev. Fr. Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center, Ugboha in Esan South East Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State,” Nwabuzor wrote in his statement.

“The Edo State Police Command was informed of the incident by the Divisional Police Officer, Ugboha, Edo State, that on Sunday, July 3, 2022, one Rev. Father Amos Abhulimen of St. Dominic Catholic Church Ugboha, reported that he was informed by the Catholic authority via WhatsApp that the above named Catholic Rev. Fathers were attacked, kidnapped and taken to an unknown place by some kidnappers along Benin-Auchi Expressway between Ehor and Iruekpen Communities,” he continued.

“Immediately, the Commissioner Of Police, (CP) Abutu Yaro, dispatched policemen to the area to carry out an aggressive and well-coordinated manhunt in arresting the kidnappers as well as rescue the Rev. Fathers unhurt.”

The risk associated with being a Catholic priest in Nigeria increases with each passing day. Last week, the world witnessed protests by priests at the burial of the late Father Vitus Borogo, who was murdered by Islamic terrorists in late June  during a raid at Prison Farm, Kujama, while his brother was abducted by the attackers. The next day, Father Christopher Odia was abducted from his rectory in the southern state of Edo and killed by his kidnappers.

READ: Over 700 Catholic priests protest murders of two clerics in Nigeria

The protests were held to send a message to the Nigerian government to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.